Another World, also known as Out of This World in North America and Outer World (アウターワールド Autā Wārudo?) in Japan, is a 1991 cinematic platformer action-adventure game designed by Éric Chahi for Delphine Software. The game tells a story of Lester, a young scientist who, as a result of an experiment gone wrong, finds himself in a dangerous alien world where he is forced to fight for his survival.
Originally developed for the Amiga and Atari ST and later released for the Apple IIGS and DOS platforms, the game was widely ported to other contemporary systems. Later efforts resulted in several game engine recreations for the game that permitted it to run on modern computers, consoles and mobile phones. In 2006, Chahi independently released a 15th Anniversary Edition for modern computers, and a subsequent 20th Anniversary Edition five years later that adapted the game for numerous consoles and mobile computing platforms.
Another World was highly innovative in its use of cinematic effects in both real-time and cutscenes, which granted the game praise amongst critics and commercial success. It also influenced a number of other video games and designers.
Another World is a platform game, featuring a control scheme wherin the player uses either the keyboard, joystick or gamepad to make the protagonist run, jump, attack and perform other, situation specific actions such as rocking a cage back and forth. In the initial part of the game, Lester is unarmed. He is able to kick at small creatures but is otherwise defenseless.
Later in the game, the player acquires a laser pistol from a fallen foe. The pistol has three capabilities: a standard fire mode, the ability to create force fields to block enemy fire, and a powerful charged shot that can break through force fields and some walls. Eventually, Lester also gains a plasma ball that can be used like a grenade to defeat foes (not featured in the original Amiga release). Enemies also have the same capabilities, requiring the player to take advantage of the three gun modes and the environment to overcome them.
Lester and his alien ally cannot sustain any damage, and the game ends immediately if either of them is struck by a projectile or comes in contact with an animal or an environmental hazard. However, the game uses numerous checkpoints enabling the player to keep restarting at the last point indefinitely. On the Amiga and older consoles without the ability to save a game, the player can write down an alphanumeric code for these checkpoints and re-enter it when restarting the game later. In any given scene, the game provides no clues as to what the player should do next, features no HUD except for an oxygen bar during the swimming sequences, and no on-screen text; and the characters the player meets speak in unintelligible alien language.
The protagonist of the game is Lester Knight Chaykin, a young genius physicist. In the opening cinematic, Lester arrives at his high-tech underground laboratory in his Ferrari 288 GTO during a thunderstorm and goes to work on his experiment using a particle accelerator, attempting to reconstruct what happened when the universe was born. Immediately before the particles reach their intended destination, a lightning bolt strikes the laboratory and interferes with the accelerator, causing the unforeseen particle fusion and an explosion opening a hole in time and space, teleporting Lester to a barren, alien planet.
Through Interplay Entertainment, the game was ported to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive), and the Apple IIGS in 1992.
Another World was met with a widespread critical acclaim. Among many other accolades, it was named as number one top new Amiga game of 1992 by Amiga World and received the award for the Most Innovative New Game of the year from Electronic Gaming Monthly. The game was commercially successful too, selling around 1 million copies during the 1990s. In 2012, Another World became one of the first 14 titles added to the video game art exposition at the Museum of Modern Art.
Retrospectively, Kristan Reed of Eurogamer called Another World "one of the most visionary and memorable games of its time." Reviewing the 15th Anniversary Edition in 2010, Eurogamer's John Walker called it "still utterly beautiful", adding that the game's art style is "just fantastic. Chahi's design is exquisitely simple and enormously evocative. Built from spare polygons, its paper-craft-like animation conjures the world, the creatures and the threat wonderfully." In a 2014 review of the 3DS version, Bob Mackey of USGamer opined "Another World is definitely an experience every gamer should have—and not just for the sake of checking out a historical curiosity. Another World still feels incredibly forward-thinking, almost as if Chahi had developed a game for this decade's indie scene without even realizing it."